News: Practice makes perfect in time-honored tradition
Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo
USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea – For the Marines of Combat Logistic Regiment 17, the color guard is an honored tradition.
The CLR-17 color guard detail found time during Exercise Dawn Blitz to prepare for Fleet Week San Francisco. They will present the colors during the Italian Heritage Parade, Oct. 9.
“Practice for color guard is like practice for anything else.” said Lance Cpl. Patrick Fortune, a military policeman with CLR-17. “You want to make sure you look good, you look tight and make sure you’re squared away.”
Color guard movements have different commands that require precise timing. These Marines practice with pride.
“You have to look perfect,” said Sgt. Christopher Smith, a platoon sergeant with CLR-17 and the color guard sergeant. “At that point in time in the parade you are the direct image of the Marine Corps.”
Practicing hasn’t been easy for these Marines. They’ve had to find time between small-arms fire, Marine Corps Martial Arts training, Taser demonstrations and much more.
“With practicing on a ship, it’s a lot more confined for space, other training going on and equipment moving around,” said Fortune “You really are confined to what time you have to do it, the space you have to work with.
Smith agreed with Fortune.
“We aren’t going to be in a hanger for the parade. I know that,” said Smith. “We’re going to be on cement, not a ship.”
The Marines understand the value of practice.
“It really is practice makes perfect,” said Fortune. “It’s about muscle memory so that we don’t mess up when we get to game day.”
Fortune and Smith agreed that it’s an honor to perform color guard duties and they take honor in it.
“There is a sense of pride when you do color guard because your going back to the basics, that the Marine Corps is the best and to look the sharpest we practice as such,” said Fortune.
Smith and the rest of the color guard are excited for the parade and said they hope their hard work pays off come Sunday.